The Texas Thoroughbred Association has announced the 2016 Texas Champions, and the appropriately named Texas Chrome will be honored as the Texas Horse of the Year at the TTA’s annual meeting and awards banquet at Lone Star Park on June 24. The champions are determined by points earned in stakes performances during the year.
Owned by Danny Keene’s Keene Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by J.R. Caldwell, Texas Chrome compiled a record of 8-4-1-2 with earnings of $660,245 last year, tops among all Texas-breds. Named the Texas Champion 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding for 2015 after recording three stakes wins, the son of Grasshopper earned four stakes victories in 2016. He started with a division of the Clarence Scharbauer Jr. Texas Stallion Stakes at Lone Star Park, and after placing in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs and Grade 3 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows, he annexed the Super Derby Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs. Then in a span of just 15 days in September, he captured the Grade 3 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs and Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. He ended his season by finishing off the board in the Grade 1 Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. C.J. McMahon was the primary rider of Texas Chrome.
Texas Chrome, who also earned the title of Texas Champion 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding, was bred by Craig Upham out of the Texas-bred Naevus mare Margarita Mistress. In the name of his and wife Sue Dowling’s Stoneview Farm, he consigned Texas Chrome to the 2014 Texas Summer Yearling Sale, where the colt sold for $10,000 to Keene. At the time, sire Grasshopper stood at Lane’s End Texas, and the stallion now stands at Valor Farm in Pilot Point, Texas.
With lifetime earnings of $842,807, Texas Chrome currently sits sixth on the all-time list of Texas-bred earners and this year could become just the second Texas-bred millionaire as he chases all-time leader Groovy ($1,346,956).
Ivan Fallunovalot was also a repeat champion as the gelded son of Valid Expectations earned the Texas Champion Older Horse title for the second time. Bred by Eileen Hartis and owned by Lewis Mathews Jr., the now 7-year-old won three stakes last year, including the Grade 3 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park.
Following is the complete list of 2016 champion horses:
2-Year-Old Filly: Bling on the Music (by Too Much Bling) • Owner: Keene Thoroughbreds LLC • Breeder: W.S. Farish • Too Much Bling stands in Texas at Valor Farm, and Bling on the Music sold at the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale
2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Raising Rumors (by Sing Baby Sing) • Owner/Breeder: Tom Durant
3-Year-Old Filly: More Than Most (by Indygo Mountain) • Owner: Douglas Scharbauer • Breeder: Clarence Scharbauer Jr.
Older Filly/Mare: Chronologic’sghost (by Parading) • Owner: J.C. Racing Stable • Breeder: Oak Haven Farm • Chronologic’sghost sold at the Texas 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale
Older Horse: Ivan Fallunovalot (by Valid Expectations) • Owner: Lewis Mathews Jr. • Breeder: Eileen Hartis
Horse of the Year and 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Texas Chrome (by Grasshopper) • Owner: Keene Thoroughbreds LLC • Breeder: Craig Upham • Grasshopper stands in Texas at Valor Farm, and Texas Chrome sold at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale
Champion Broodmare: Margarita Mistress (dam of Texas Chrome)
The award for the Texas Champion Claimer will be determined by an online vote on the TTA website.